One of the basic principles of all marketing and advertising training is a “Maslow’s pyramid of needs” education. This pyramid shows the different motivators and needs in a person’s life and how they are built upon each other. It is assumed that this is presented to help the marketing student understand consumer motivation and thinking. The problem is, I’ve never seen it applied, in the manuals. It is presented as the foundation of human motivation, and then it is abandoned.
I’d like to introduce you to a way to use Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs so that you can get into a consumer’s mind and develop an understanding of what really motivates them when considering purchasing your product or service.
Maslow’s pyramid of needs presents human needs in such a way that each need is pursued and satisfied before the next level of need can be considered; they are built on top of each other. The needs from the most basic to the most complex are:
– physiological needs: food, shelter, sex
– security needs: clothing, weapons, self-defense
– social needs: social acceptance
– esteem needs: self-acceptance by oneself
– the needs for achievement: the feeling of having and achieving a goal
So the question is, “How do we use this paradigm to get into the consumer’s mind?”
Consider a personal fitness training service. Here’s how it works at the most basic level. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and think like you are considering hiring a personal trainer.
1. How will personal physical training impact my acquisition and use of food? Shelter? Sexual behavior? (Now you see why sex is used in the marketing of so many products – we react to it instinctively)
2. How will personal fitness training impact my personal safety?
– you will be in better shape and be able to run faster from an aggressor, maybe.
3. How will personal physical training have a positive impact on my position in society? In my social circle? Access to different social circles?
4. How will personal physical training have a positive impact on my self-perception?
5. Will personal physical training have an impact on my sense of personal growth?
I understand that most consumers will ask these kinds of questions without really thinking about it. The answers that you develop when you deliberately ask yourself these types of questions will give you insight into the processes that a consumer may be considering or are likely to lean into as they consider purchasing personal fitness services.
This process will also help you define ways to market that will get consumers to consider your personal fitness service if they are not. Using Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs helps you target your marketing. It is the basis of:
Motivate to action
If you can use Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs to get into the consumer’s head by running it through a question filter like the one I presented above, you will have a tangible marketing benefit because you can now answer the question. internal dialogue of your consumer.
Using this type of screening process can also help you create a need among those who have not yet taken an interest in your product or service. Just put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and present your marketing to them in a way that meets or resolves every need in the hierarchy.
Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs is a powerful tool that is taught to all marketing and advertising students around the world, but it must be understood and applied to be truly useful. Try using Maslow’s Marketing Filter the next time you are considering a marketing campaign. This will help you better understand what the consumer is thinking and feeling.